The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Sep. 7, 1900

Full Text
Lies Submerged Near Erie, and May Be Raised and Saved

Cleveland, September 6. - The Niagara, Commodore Perry's flagship, from which he directed the Battle of Lake Erie, off Put-in-Bay Island, is still in existence. She lies at the bottom of Misery bay, just north of the harbor of Erie. In that little bay Perry's fleet landed after the victory, for the fleet had bee built, fitted out, and prepared for battle there. Guns, ammunition and food were hauled to Erie by wagon trains from Pittsburg, and the sailors had such affection for the spot that after Perry's message to the government that the enemy fleet had been met and destroyed, they were glad to return to Misery bay.

Perry's first flagship, the Lawrence, which he abandoned for the Niagara, was also in the returning fleet. The Lawrence went to the bottom shortly after her arrival and the Niagara was a close second.* In 1876 the Lawrence was raised and every bit of wood in the old sea fighter was converted into walking canes and sold at the Philadelphia Centennial.**

The congressmen who recently toured the lakes were very much interested in the recital of the story by Congressman Davenport, of Erie, especially after they passed the spot where the decisive battle had been fought. Congressman Davenport told them that when the water is clear the hulk of the Niagara is plainly visible, and someone wondered if it would not be possible for the federal government to raise her and preserve her as a precious relic and as a monument to the early prowess of the American navy. So the recent harbor inspection by the congressional committees may result in the introduction of a bill in congress, next session, for the appropriation of a sum sufficiently large to save the old hulk for future generations.

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Item Type:
*scuttled there in 1820
**1876 newspaper accounts say the hulk was displayed in a special building for the Fair, then cut into souvenirs afterwards. I've been unable to confirm this.
Date of Original:
Sep. 7, 1900
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Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Sep. 7, 1900